Internet hacking and tracking on the increase in Sri LankaJune 16, 2012, 6:05 pm
By Hiran H. Senewiratne
It is impossible to prevent people misusing technology and trends are developing to shift the nature of crimes from traditional to hi-tech, for which a computer or network may be used as a tool or a storage medium to commit crimes, says Sunil D. B. Abeyratne, Chairman, Colombo Law Society IT Committee. "It is said that Internet hacking and tracking is on the increase in Sri Lanka, necessitating increased awareness among IT users. The Sri Lankan Penal Code has provisions to address this issue", he said.
"If a person unlawfully enters the occupier’s data base or
network and commits an offence from the same or different jurisdiction, it is known as hacking, for which penalties could be imposed", Abeyratne explained.
He said if any person obtains information accessing another person’s computer network or data base to commit a further crime known as cracking. Therefore, the Computer Crime Act Sri Lanka deals with these crimes. But, lack of awareness among the public, lawyers, judges and other specialists in this sector is impeding the arrest this grave trend, he noted.
"Today, we could see many cross border issues involving computer hacking, cracking and modification. Section 2 of the Act deal with these crimes. The High Court has jurisdiction to deal with them, he said.
Abeyratne also said that if a person receives unknown/suspicious email messages, they should not be opened as otherwise it would lead to hacking. Sections 3, 4 and 5 of the Computer Crimes Act deal with such offences.
According to Sri Lankan law, punishment for computer hacking and cracking are stipulated in the legal system, where for computer hacking the punishment is Rs 100,000 or six months imprisonment or both while for computer tracking Rs 200,000 or six months imprisonment or both.
Director CID, DIG Mahesh Perera told a recent seminar that when this type of offence is committed , a lot of expert evidence is needed to prove the crime. Therefore, lack of resources and the awareness level aggravates this issue.
With all these developments, international cooperation is
important to facilitate investigations on computer crimes and any country dealing with computer crimes must have new methodologies to fulfill the requirement, he said.
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